Love Machine

Posted: November 3, 2009 in Uncategorized

What should this look like? What’s the plan? Let us get to the heart of the matter. Jesus. Let us examine what Jesus said. Jesus was cornered by Jewish teacher and asked this question, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” So here in Matthew 22 we find Jesus’ answer, but before we read it let us think about this question. First, who will answer this question? Jesus. According to Scripture and orthodox Christian theology who is Jesus? Jesus is the eternal, existent Son of God. He has always been, He will always be. Jesus is not only God’s Son, He is God. Jesus and God are made up of the same stuff, whatever the “God stuff” is, both Jesus and the Father have it. Jesus knows the heart and thoughts of God himself. When Jesus speaks He is speaking the very words of God. The Gospel of John calls Jesus, “The Word.” Jesus says that anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. (John 14:9) So it is blatantly obvious and abundantly clear that when Jesus answers this question we are getting the answer directly from God Himself. No doubt what so ever. The Jewish teacher asks for the “greatest commandment.” He wants to know the heart of the matter. He wants to know, what does God want from us more than anything else? What is God’s heart’s desire for each of us? So when we read Jesus’ response in Matthew 22 we are going to read according to Jesus, God Himself the most vital truth of our existence. Are you ready? You can still back out now… OK here we go…
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38
But wait there’s more, Jesus gives us the second greatest commandment too…
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All of the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 39-40
So there we have it straight from God Himself with out any grey, any room for doubt, clear and plain- God desires you to love Him with your entire being and to love your neighbor as yourself. That’s what He wants more than anything else. I am sure there is one of those “deep” Christians reading this hoping for a richer theological principle. Two things to note in these verses, first, let’s look at the phrase, “all of the Law and Prophets.” What is meant by that statement? This phrase the “Law and Prophets” is the Hebrew code language for the entire Bible. The Law, represents the first 5 books attributed to Moses. The Prophets are the “special men and women” who have spoken for God through out the ages: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, Daniel, and etc. Second, Jesus says the entire Bible “hang on these two commandments.” In other words, if we do not get these two things, love God and love our neighbor the rest of the Bible is worthless! This is step Uno. Every other principle, every verse, commandment, truth, observation, theological insight, narrative, poem, song, prophecy, apocalyptic literature “hangs” on these two things. Love God and love your neighbor. Nothing makes sense with out it. There is no point in doing any other thing until we get this. In fact you cannot do any other commandment if you are skipping these two, they are the foundations for everything else. The rest of the Biblical guidelines for living stem from these two roots. They are merely extensions of these two principles. Loving God and your neighbor are heart of the matter the rest of the principles are only more specific ways to live this out in the real world. If you love God and love your neighbor you will not steal, commit adultery, lie, kill another person, worship another God, and you will surely honor your parents.
God has created each of us to be a “love machine.” It is what we are designed to do. First we experience the transformative love of God the we are to be a funnel or hose that transports His love into the lives of those around us. I John 4:19 is a simple verse but very important, “We love because He (God) first loved us.” We are enabled or empowered to love because we have first experienced the love of God. Christ has first loved us. He showed us what real and genuine love is by actively meeting our greatest need, our need to be restored in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Jesus choose to deny Himself the privileges and beauty of heaven to dwell on this earth. Ultimately He gave His very life as a sacrifice on a brutal, torturous cross to ransom our lives from eternal death and separation from God. Jesus focused His attention on us and met our greatest need. Those of us who have accepted this as reality and placed our lives in Christ’s hands have experienced God’s love first hand. As a “love machine” we receive God’s love and pass it on to those around us. Love is not simply a feeling or emotional experience. Love is action. Love is a verb. It is not something that happens to you, it is something that you do. It is a conscious choice that each of us makes to focus on another person. We love those around us when we take the time to see their deepest needs and strive to meet those needs.

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